September 26, 2006

Fifty Acres and a Poodle

Note: This review appeared in my monthly newsletter (Feb. 2005). Apologies to those who have already read it.

Fifty Acres and A Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Non-fiction (Memoir)
Rating: A+ (5/5 Excellent!)
Top Ten List for 2005

I read half the book the very first night and forced myself to slow down and make the remaining half last. I can't remember the last time I laughed and cried while reading a single page in a book. And not just an internal chuckle, but full-bellied out loud laughter. Other than the first few pages that reminded me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum (the humor seemed a bit forced), this is a great book. Loved all the animal names, particularly Screech, Walter, Wilma, Marley and Irving. It seems to me a lot of good humor was centered around the animals. Readers who enjoy Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence) and Jim Mullen (It Takes a Village Idiot) will love this. I thought it was even better than It Takes a Village Idiot, which also dealt with a "big-city" couple moving to the country. The focus of Mullen's memoir was the humor in buying a "country home," whereas Laskas' delved deeper and handled several emotional issues, drawing the reader in closer, not glossing over the harsh realities of life, whether on a farm or in a city. I can't wait to read the sequel, The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and A Family. I read it in February and loved it. Click here for review.

Favorite Quote:

La bete du bon Dieu. A good God. A God who has placed me gently in this place. Well, maybe not gently, but affirmatively. I look beyond the ladybug, out the window. Beyond the window, I see Billy and Tom and the bulldozer. Beyond them, woods and sky and the vast brown unknown. And beyond that: spring. That's one thing you can count on. You can never know what's next in your life, but you can know that spring comes after winter. You can trust, even though it looks impossible right now, that the green and the pink and the purple will come. You can trust the rhythm of the seasons.


  1. I'll have to check this one out. I read a book similar in theme years ago: Bean Blossom Dreams by Sallyann J. Murphey and just fell in love with it. I've read it many a time.

  2. Carl - I'll have to look for Bean Blossom Dreams. I love the title! Another similar book my husband enjoyed is Enslaved By Ducks by Bob Tarte (reviewed in my blog on 5/22). I started it, but didn't enjoy the humor nearly as well as I did with Laskas' books, but hubby thought it was very funny. And, thanks to Google, Tarte found my blog entry and sent me an email thanking me for the funny review and that he was proud to get his first "F"!

  3. Ooh, I'll have to recommend this book to a coworker. She just finished reading 'The Good Pig' (there might be another 'good' in there) and really liked it. This book sounds like something she may enjoy.

  4. I requested this book to a book club and it wasn't voted in. :(

    You have made me rethink my "L" author choice. It was between this one and Lewis, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. I FINALLY decided on the Lewis book, but now I want to read this one! :)

  5. Okay, I've added it to the ever growing list. Your review is great.

  6. Lesley - I've looked at The Good Good Pig, but it hasn't appealed to me. I think I prefer books about dogs and cats. Enslaved by Ducks didn't do anything for me either. I have Marley & Me in my stacks and am anxious to get to it. My hubby just read it, but quit when he approached the end (he hates to read about dogs dying - who can blame him?).

    Joy - I hate to say "should" so I'll simply say that I don't think you'll be disappointed with this book. I hope you get to it soon. Or maybe you should save it for when you're feeling down and need a good laugh (or two, or three!).

    Thanks, Booklogged. I look forward to your review on this book. :)

  7. Les ~ Okay...you convinced me! It's now in the line up. Good idea to wait until I need or want a break or I accidently pick it up and the words pop off the page into my eyes.

    I actually have THE GOOD GOOD PIG on my TBR list. I didn't know anybody that had read it, though.

  8. Hey there, Les!

    I just finished it and you were right...I was not disappointed! What a delightful read. :) I gave it a 4.5/5. I definitely want to read the sequel.

    Since this post, I have read THE GOOD GOOD PIG, too. I gave that a 3.5/5. I have good memories of it. :)

  9. Joy, I'm so pleased you enjoyed this wonderful book! I think you'll like the sequel just as much, if not better.

    I'll have to give The Good, Good Pig a try sometime soon.


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!